AlphaBay Moderator Sentenced to 11 Years in Prison

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  • AlphaBay moderator Brian Herrell has been sentenced to 11 years in prison for his role in operating the site
  • Herrell pleaded guilty to engaging in a racketeer influenced corrupt organization
  • AlphaBay was the biggest darknet marketplace until it was taken down in 2017

A moderator of the infamous darknet marketplace Alphabay has been sentenced to 11 years in prison for his role in the operation of the site. Brian Herrell was on Tuesday sentenced to 11 years in prison having pled guilty to the crimes earlier in the year. Herrell is one of numerous individuals connected to AlphaBay who have been arrested since the site, which took in some $23 million in Bitcoin and Monero during its lifetime, was taken down in July 2017.

AlphaBay’s Short Lived Success

AlphaBay is thought to have launched in December 2014, filling a gap left by the 2013 shutdown of Silk Road. It quickly grew into the biggest darknet emporium in the world, dwarfing Silk Road in size by a magnitude of 10 and conducting around $700,000 worth of transactions per day.

A series of errors allowed law enforcement to gain access to the site in early 2017 however, and the site was shut down in July that year. Arrests were swift, but it took two years to arrest Herrell, who amassed a healthy stash of BTC in payment for his services to AlphaBay. He faced 20 years in prison if he had pleaded not guilty and lost, but he was spared the longer sentence because of his guilty plea.

Bitcoin Continues to be Auctioned Off

The alleged founder of AlphaBay, Alexandre Cazes, killed himself in a Thai prison while awaiting extradition to the United States just days after his arrest. The site was officially shut down two week after this.

It is estimated that the U.S. Justice Department seized more than $1 billion worth of digital assets from Casez’s wallets, with the first $45 million being auctioned off in January 2018. The remainder, along with Bitcoin seized during other raids, continues to be auctioned off today.